<th scope="col" style="width:426px">Reaction</th>
<p class="rteleft">One of my players has built a character with a Charisma of 16, Mystic Aura and the Diplomacy proficiency. He will have possibly have a +6 on Reaction rolls barring any other negative modifiers. He will typically get the best possible result on most encounters, and will only rarely get a neutral reaction. It seems a bit like an "easy button" has been set up for him now. I think this results from a combination of:</p>
<li class="rteleft">The reaction table being based on the 2d6 table from the B/X chassis that ACKS was built upon.</li>
<li class="rteleft">The standardization of attribute bonuses so that regardless of attribute an 18 grants a +3 bonus, 16-17 grants +2, etc. In B/X the maximum charisma bonus was +2, and that could only be gained with an 18.</li>
<li class="rteleft">The introduction of proficiencies/custom powers that offer a +2 modifier to reaction rolls. These did not exist in B/X, and while plenty of other proficiencies offer a +2 modifier, those are usually affecting a d20 throw, and opposed to the much more narrow range that occurs with a 2d6.</li>
<p class="rteleft">To rebalance the affect of better Charisma attribute bonuses and proficiencies/custom powers has on the reaction rolls I'm considering using a 2d10 table instead of the 2d6 table. The percentages for the results are roughly the same, but it helps make the impact of modifiers fall more in line with how other proficiency checks are made.</p>
<p>Proposed Reaction Table</p>
<td style="width:170px">2-3 or less (3%)</td>
<td style="width:426px">Hostile, Attacks</td>
<td style="width:170px">4-8 (25%)</td>
<td style="width:426px">Unfriendly, May Attack</td>
<td style="width:170px">9-13 (44%)</td>
<td style="width:426px">Neutral, Uncertain</td>
<td style="width:170px">14-18 (25%)</td>
<td style="width:426px">Indifferent, Uninterested</td>
<td style="width:170px">19-20 or more (3%)</td>
<td style="width:426px">Friendly, Helpful</td>
I could also have come up with a d20 table that would have followed even more closely the mechanic used for other proficiency checks, but I wanted to keep the bell curve, and using a flat d20 would have actually caused a greater variance in the percentages for results than using the 2d10 roll.
If anyone has any feedback (positive or negative) they would like to offer on this I'd be more than happy to hear it. I'm on-call this week for work, so I might not be able to reply right away.
(Edit 2016-09-20: made a small mistake in my original table.)
I'd been considering 2d12 to provide a higher resolution on the results - the same table from ACKS would still work, percentage-wise, and one could cut out further differentiations in the larger range. That'd give one enough room to break out at least Friendly and Hostile into a few more results.
And, essentially for the same reason - I'd used Beyond The Wall to generate characters for a kid's game, and somehow the Local Performer (Bard) ended up with a 23 CHA (+4). The father had gotten excited about the system and he and the kids rolled up, didn't know 18 is the max by the book. :) One could limit the situations in which both Diplomacy and Mystic Aura could apply, but, I'd feel bad about limiting the kid's CHA; he's so excited about it.
In my games, all the influence general proficiencies have been rolled into one, and Mystic Aura doesn't stack with them. (Making Mystic Aura essentially Diplomacy with a charm chance.) This neatly removes the need for questions like "I can intimidate and seduction. Can I thrust aggressively with my knife codpiece for +4?"
I've also been thinking about making social proficiencies other than Mystic Aura only apply after the initial reaction roll; you can't talk to them if they're in shoot-on-sight mode. Unless you choose to talk while being shot, I guess.
I like to compensate the big bonus with apropiate penalties: the others has clearly superior strenght -2 (as they have less fear to fight), you are actually causing troble to the others -2 (they have a reason to fight), you have something they really want -2, etc. so that allows the hiper charismatic to shine (by being able to convince people in really hostile scenarios), but gives them a chance to fail. And if the players dont have an uberdiplomat they have to find ways to reduce those penalties.